It is true that it was the excessive media coverage of Team Anna and Baba Ramdev that made them a household name (“A for Anna, B for Baba, C for Camera,” Aug. 4) but then it is the media’s responsibility to sense the public sentiment. It has a stake in nation-building. Whether it is Team Anna, Baba Ramdev, civil society or an individual fighting corruption, they are contributing to the nation in some way. This is a historic moment and the media must play a proactive role. Rooting out corruption is a process which requires both strict legislation and people’s participation.
The only way we can address social issues is through politics because it is the political leadership that forms the crux of the solution providing process. In a country like India where people get emotional on hearing a political leader’s rhetoric, the media plays a major role. It was the print media that was instrumental in the success of MGR and NTR.
The media has become powerful only because people have patronised it. The same people ignore the media when it is found to be working to further its vested interests. Team Anna should come out with a unique political agenda.
The media has indeed been responsible for highlighting the movement led by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. But for the media, they would not have been able to get the attention that they get today. Team Anna should not lose focus from its prime objective of achieving a strong Lokpal. The role of the media is important in this regard.
I endorse the view that if you are really striving for a corruption-free society, you’ll have to begin at the grassroots level. Corruption is both a political and social malaise. There is corruption in politics, the academia, police, judiciary, etc. If there is a one rupee hike in the cost of a quintal of wheat, restaurants charge one rupee more on every bread you eat; if there is a one rupee hike in the cost of petrol, the taxi driver demands Rs 5 more for every kilometre you travel, and so on.
Anna Hazare began his campaign to rid India of corruption. People rallied around him without questioning him. His u-turn towards politics is a betrayal of people’s trust.
While I agree that protesters these days are obsessed with television cameras, I am at a loss to understand how one is to respond to anything without being a victim of the camera or the crook. While participating in the protests against the Ram Sene in Bangalore, I felt good. But I soon realised that the protests only promoted its cause. How does one respond to issues without furthering the cause of a section and appearing camera obsessed?